Following California’s lead, New York City Council has voted to pass a bill banning the sale of foie gras in restaurants and grocery stores across the city.
Those in favour of the bill (42 to six) highlighted the cruelty inflicted upon ducks and geese in order to make the French delicacy, which involves force-feeding the birds through a tube pushed down their throats in order to fatten their livers.
Lovers of the decadent delicacy still have two years to enjoy it at New York’s top restaurants, as the ban won’t come into play until 2022.
Establishments found selling foie gras after the ban kicks in will be fined up to $2,000. The bill has garnered strong support from animal rights activists.
It spells trouble, however, for farms such as Hudson Valley Foie Gras, that rely on business from New York to stay afloat.
New York chefs restaurateurs were less than thrilled by the news and took to Twitter to express their disapproval. Legal challenges to the ban may follow.
Chef David Chang of popular New York noodle bar, Momofuku, dubbed the ban “idiocy”.
As reported by The Guardian, Ariane Daguin, founder of gourmet food supplier D’Artagnan, criticised the initiative, saying it lacked concrete evidence and research.
“The premise that the process is inhumane is not supported by fact or research – not one council member has made any effort to learn about this process, and all have refused to visit the farms to understand the process first-hand,” she said.
“A New York City foie gras ban will cost more than 400 immigrant workers their jobs. If humane treatment is truly the issue here, we should be looking at factory-farm practices first before we shut down small farms,” she added.
California voted to ban foie gras in 2004, but it didn’t come into force until 2012, and only this year was no longer able to be legally challenged.